Having a leopard gecko as a pet requires you to ensure you keep a comfortable and natural habitat for your pet where they can thrive. As a reptile owner, you want to ensure you do everything you can to keep your pet happy and healthy. One of the main focuses of a leopard gecko owner is the humidity levels in the enclosure, which should range between 30% and 40%.
Ideal Humidity in a Leopard Gecko Enclosure
The ideal humidity level should be between 30% and 40% in leopard gecko vivariums. That should match with the dry and semi-desert areas where their natural habitat is.
Note that it's normal if the humidity is higher than 50% for a few hours or a few days. This can happen in the rainy season or at night. However, you need to keep an eye on humidity levels when it gets too high for a long time. High humidity can cause serious health issues for your leopard gecko.
What Happens When the Humidity is Too high for a Leopard Gecko?
When humidity levels get too high in a leopard gecko enclosure for extended periods of a few days, it can result in some serious health issues, including respiratory infections, pneumonia, and skin-related infections. In addition to this high humidity can also lead to bacterial and fungal growth, which can lead to another host of health problems for your reptile pet.
How to Monitor Humidity Accurately
Humidity levels must be monitored regularly, ensuring that you are keeping the enclosure between 30% and 40% and your reptile remains comfortable. The most effective way to monitor humidity levels is with a digital hygrometer. There are analog versions on the market, but the digital hygrometers are easier to read and more accurate in their readings.
The Zoo Med Labs Digital Thermometer Humidity Gauge is an excellent choice with a digital readout and waterproof probe. This digital hygrometer can save you time and space, measuring both temperature and humidity in one product. It comes complete with a waterproof probe.
Another digital hygrometer you can consider is the Govee Wireless Thermometer Hygrometer which offers the convenience of wireless app control for easy temperature and humidity monitoring in real-time. The monitor is highly accurate and it comes in a compact size.
Effective Ways to Reduce Humidity
If you find your humidity levels are more than 40%, you are going to want to start looking for ways to decrease the humidity and ensure you keep your leopard gecko happy and healthy. There are a number of effective ways to reduce humidity levels in the enclosure, these include:
Increase Tank Ventilation
There are two ways you can quickly increase the ventilation in your enclosure. If your enclosure doesn't have a mesh top and has a solid screen top, then you may want to change that now. The mesh top allows excellent air ventilation in the tank.
A second option is to consider using a USB fan inside the tank, helping to draw out air. The AmazonBasics 3 Speed Air Circulator is an ideal size offering outstanding air circulation with three speed setting and a ninety degree variable tilt head, so you can direct the airflow as needed. For a seven-inch fan, it offers impressive airflow with outstanding energy efficiency.
Lower Humidity in the Room
The humidity levels in the room where you keep your leopard gecko enclosure will also impact the humidity your reptile pet experiences. In order to reduce the humidity in the room, you want to increase airflow. Open up the windows to allow for natural airflow or use a fan. Place the fan outside the enclosure to circulate the air around the tank.
Another option is to use a room dehumidifier such as the Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier and put it near the tank. This dehumidifier is small, compact and lightweight, and can remove up to nine ounces of water each day. It comes complete with automatic shut off, ultra-quiet operation with excellent energy efficiency. What makes this dehumidifier a great choice is it is highly effective at lowering humidity and keeping your leopard gecko comfortable.
Use A Mini Dehumidifier In The Tank
If a room dehumidifier such as Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier is expensive or you just don't want to change the room humidity, putting a mini dehumidifier in the tank is the most effective way to reduce humidity levels. The Eva Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier is the best value for money. This mini powerful dehumidifier uses non-toxic crystallized silica gel technology which can absorb 4 to 6 oz of moisture from the air.
The substrate you are using could be increasing the humidity in the enclosure. The best substrates for leopard geckos include:
- Paper Towel
- Reptile Carpet
- Shelf Liner
- Tile Flooring
Dry Rice Socks
Dry rice can absorb moisture well. Humidity can drop 5% - 10% by putting one or two socks of dry rice in the leopard gecko terrarium.
If you don't have rice, silica packets, wheat flour or cornmeal can be used.
The water dish should always be placed on the cool side of the enclosure. Placing the dish on the warm side causes the water to evaporate and increases humidity as a result. If the dish is on the cool side and you are still struggling with humidity problems, then you may want to reduce the size of the dish, reducing how much liquid you leave in the enclosure at any given time.
If you have live plants in the enclosure, you will want to remove them immediately. Live plants automatically increase humidity levels in the terrarium.
Use a Low Wattage Ceramic Heat Emitter
A ceramic heat emitter is probably the most effective way to reduce humidity in the enclosure, but it will increase the temperature slightly. The ideal wattage will be low, such as the 60W options. The AllCIOO Ceramic Heat Emitter is an excellent choice offering twenty four hours heat that lasts up to 10,000 hours. This heat emitter offers 100% heat efficiency without any lighting being emitted. It can handle humidity and won't crack. This emitter is made from high quality porcelain and can screw into a standard incandescent socket.
If you don't have a fixture for the ceramic heat emitter, you can consider the Fluker's Repta-Clamp Lamp Ceramic which comes with a built-in dimmer, as an added benefit. This fixture is rated up to 75 watts and comes complete with safety clamps and dimmer, so you can control the heat as needed.
In order to preserve your leopard gecko’s health, you want to provide them with the optimal humidity levels, ranging from 30% to 40%. The most effective way to reduce humidity for your leopard gecko if you have been struggling for some time, the enclosure continues to have high humidity and are not able to get the humidity accurate is to try the ceramic heat emitter or the mini humidifier options.
If the humidity only varies ever so slightly, then you can consider the above options, such as changing the water bowl to a smaller bowl and placing it on the cool side of the enclosure or changing the lid of the enclosure to a mesh lid to allow for excellent airflow.